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Photo Credit: Serendipity from nail Advent Calendar


12-14-13 | Posted by

“Nail art” could have been the beauty words of 2013 (the real word was “selfie”). This holiday season, the British brand Ciate is taking nail art to dizzying heights, setting the creativity bar extremely high and encouraging competition from other brands.


Photo Credit: Ciate

Ciate’s popular Mini Mani Month advent calendar of tiny nail polishes is true candy box for nails:  24 days of mini Paint Pots, glitter sprinkles, custom sequin blends, caviar pearls, and one full-size Paint Pot that will keep every manicurista busy. For only $58, your giftee will receive more paint pots than the number of shoes in her closet. The packaging, a fair-isle sweater print, is so wintry and cozy.

Ciate Tree Trinkets

Photo Credit: Ciate

The Ciate Tree Trinkets set is an especially seasonal ways to gift as the polishes are actually ornaments. A box of six trinket ornaments, filled with mini glitter nail lacquers and complete with satin ribbon, makes this worth every penny of its $30 price tag (it also comes with holiday gift tags). The glitter colors include: Yule Rules, All Aglow, Candy Cane, Humbug, Wrap Star! and Tinsel Town.

But perhaps the heavy hitters of the season are not so much the glittery polishes. We’ve seen so much glitter during the holiday season from various brands that bling is the new holiday black. What Ciate is doing is bringing us texturized nail art, like the Red Velvet manicure. A marriage between velvet and matte, this new manicure is the anti-gloss: AKA not your grandmother’s nail lacquer. It is a very sophisticated take on a red manicure with a velvety crushed texture, and it feels like velvet too.

My personal favorite is the very upscale looking Caviar Luxe manicure ($25), which comes in three shades, Gleam, Smoulder and Luster. It’s great when paired with other lacquers, like Chanel. And yes, Ciate also makes a Tweed set, perfect for winter pairings.

Ciate Emerald Manicure

Credit: Ciate

The Emerald Collection, which is the brand’s answer to the 2013 Pantone Color, emerald, offers even more texture, with a twist of bling. The texturized manicure works best when one half of the nail is matte velvet, and the other half is studded with crushed sequins and signature caviar pearls. It makes you wonder what nail texture is next—will we see wood, granite, marble in the coming months?

Nail Rock Caviar Nail Swatch

Rock Beauty London Caviar Manicure

That’s not to say other brands are not emulating the genius of Ciate. We also fell in love with another London-based brand, Rock Beauty London, which offers Nail Caviar priced at $6.99. It offers other textures too, including velvet, sequin, and nail glitter versions. Unlike Ciate’s texturized kits, which are priced at $25 (those include two paint pots, a funnel for precise application, and a tray) the Nail Rock Beauty is more affordable, with a nail lacquer and a pot of caviars or sequins. You apply two coats of the nail lacquer and dip your nails onto the pearls and let dry for 15-20 minutes. The brand has other nail wraps, lip wraps, and body tattoos that look like street art married haute couture beauty: they’re special, so check them out.

In a nutshell, if you want a luxe version of a manicure, opt for Ciate’s various offerings. I’d pick Rock Beauty London as a stocking stuffer any day.





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